Arrested Nepali editor hospitalised

The arrest coincides with first anniversary of last year’s devastating earthquake

Kanak Mani Dixit, the Nepali editor arrested on Friday over corruption charges, was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Bir Hospital in Kathmandu on Saturday.

Kunda Dixit, Kanak Mani Dixit’s brother, confirmed the latter’s admittance to hospital to check uncontrolled blood pressure and heart condition, The Himalayan Times reported.

Allegations of graft

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), which arrested Mr. Dixit, accuses the editor of illegal accumulation of wealth. Diplomatic sources in Nepal told The Hindu that there could be more arrests by the organisation which has launched a war on corruption.

A press release issued by the CIAA’s spokesperson Krishnahari Pushkar also accused Mr. Dixit of causing financial loss to Sajha Yatayat, the cooperative public transport initiative that he heads. It stated that Mr. Dixit, by using illegal means, had transferred ownership of real estate belonging to Jagadamba Rana and the late Madan Shasher Rana, famed celebrity figures from the Nepali royal family, to himself.

The arrest was the culmination of a legal and political tug of war which began in December 2015 when the CIAA sent a show-cause notice to a group of prominent Nepali citizens demanding the details of their income. Mr. Dixit approached the Supreme Court of Nepal challenging the legality of the decision, but had also submitted details to the CIAA on January 24.

Political and diplomatic sources in Kathmandu pointed to an old feud between Mr. Dixit and the CIAA’s chief Lokman Singh Karki, a former chief secretary of Nepal and a member of a prominent royalist family.

Mr. Dixit had opposed Mr. Karki’s appointment to the post of the chief of CIAA on May 8, 2013. Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai told The Hindu that the CIAA has become very powerful and will have to conduct its investigation within the legal parameters. In a public statement, the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (Himalmedia Chapter) described the arrest by CIAA as a “vengeful act”.

Mr. Dixit’s arrest coincides with the events marking the 10th anniversary of the ‘People’s Revolution’ in Nepal and the first anniversary of last year’s earthquake. Nepali sources said that given the government events and the weekend, Mr. Dixit is expected to spend a few more days in custody.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 12:52:53 AM |

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